A strong week for bitcoin miners got even stronger on Thursday, with the share price of several again posting double-digit percentage gains after bitcoin (BTC) rose more than 2% to $30,500.
Among the movers was Marathon Digital (MARA), up 14.6% for the session and now ahead nearly 50% for the week. Hut 8 Mining (HUT) is higher by 15.9% Thursday and and 37% for the week. Other Thursday movers include Stronghold Digital (SDIG), up 26%; Iris Energy (IREN), up 15%; and Bit Digital (BTBT), up 18%.
While the recent gains for the miners seem gaudy, these stocks remain sharply lower from year-ago levels as the companies contend with the combination of higher energy prices and a bitcoin price that remains more than 50% below its all-time high. Marathon Digital and Hut 8, for example, are each down about 50% year over year, and Stronghold Digital is off roughly 80%.
Helping the bullish outlook for bitcoin miners is the idea that both inflation and the jobs market are cooling, which could give room for the U.S. Federal Reserve to pause or even reverse its year-plus long string of interest rate hikes. Earlier Thursday morning, the producer price index (PPI) for March tumbled to 2.7% year over year versus February’s 4.9% and against expectations for 3%. The core PPI – which strips out food and energy costs – fell to 3.4% from 4.5%.
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Alongside that news, initial jobless claims for the week ending April 8 rose by 11,000 from the previous week to 239,000. That’s the highest level since January 2022 and suggests the beginning of a slowdown in what had previously been a red-hot jobs market.
Short-term interest rate markets are currently pricing in about a 60% chance of a 25-basis point rate hike when the Fed meets next on May 2-3.